The Burpee Bears
Joe Wicks and Paul Howard
Harper Collins Children’s Books
Written in partnership with author Vivian French and illustrated by Paul Howard, this is PE teacher to the locked-down nation, Joe Wicks’ debut picture book. Here too he encourages youngsters to keep fit through the Burpee Bears, a modern ursine family who make every day exciting – a day for adventure.
We first meet the Burpees as Daddy Bear, wide awake already, rouses in turn Bella, Frankie and Baby Bear and having done a quick stretching sequence, off they all go to wake Mummy Bear from her slumbers, before leaping into playful action, zooming hither and thither while Daddy Bear prepares a delicious breakfast.
Then it’s off on an adventure in the woods to make the most of the sunshine that awaits; once Mummy Bear has persuaded Frankie that would-be astronauts benefit greatly from walking in the fresh air, and the others have got themselves organised.
En route Bella needs to recharge so Daddy Bear gets the little ones doing a small work out that helps them reach the top of the hill with sufficient energy to start building that rocket ship Frankie SO wants to make.
However it’s not all ups with this Burpee brigade, for no sooner have they finished building than down comes the rain.
Where better to shelter though, from all those drips, drops, whooshes and swishes than Frankie’s rocket. It’s a great place for preparing a healthy dinner too; one that’s eaten under the stars for the downpour stops just in time.
All fun days have to end though and so it is with this one;
so back they go more than ready for us to bid them goodnight as they close their eyes and perhaps dream of a trip into space courtesy of Frankie’s rocket.
As you might expect, after the story Joe provides warm-up and wind-down exercise routines, the latter being yoga based – just right for little humans.
As you might expect too, Joe’s story is suffused with that Wicks’ energy throughout and it’s a book that families with young children can share over and over, enjoying not only the telling but Paul Howard’s splendid illustrations. These are full of life and capture so well the general up-beat nature of the characters as well as the times when somebody needs a bit of a boost.
If you like the sound of the Burpee Bears’ meals, then you might want to try the recipes at the end of the book.